Driving Change: NYU Wagner Alumni Among Influential Black Leaders in New York's Civic Landscape

Three distinguished NYU Wagner graduates, Farah Louis (MPA-PNP 2018), Tiffany Raspberry (EMPA 2019), Jennifer Jones Austin (MS 1997) and NYU community members Errol Louis, Juanita Scarlett, and Richard Buery Jr. have been honored in the 2024 Power of Diversity: Black 100, celebrating influential Black leaders across New York. This prestigious list encompasses a broad spectrum of individuals contributing to the state's civic landscape, including politicians, union heads, business executives, and leaders in the nonprofit sector. Through their dedication and service they are making significant contributions to the enhancement of public welfare and the development of our society.

Farah Louis (MPA 2018), an NYU Wagner Alumni, represents Brooklyn's 45th Council District, which includes Flatbush and surrounding areas. Louis is dedicated to making New York more affordable and livable, particularly through advocating for fair housing. Her legislative efforts in the City Council have centered on protecting domestic violence survivors, enhancing public safety, supporting minority and women-owned businesses and nonprofits, and boosting STEM education in public schools. 

As the senior adviser and director of intergovernmental and external affairs for Mayor Eric Adams, NYU Wagner alumni, Tiffany Raspberry (MPA 2019) plays a crucial role in managing New York City's relationships with state and federal governments. 

Jennifer Jones Austin (MS 1997), an NYU Wagner Alumni, is the the CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, where she has affected significant social policy changes and worked to advocate towards equality in issues ranging from    

Errol Louis is a key figure in New York's political journalism scene as the political anchor of Spectrum News NY1, hosting the prime-time show Inside City Hall that focuses on city politics. He's known for interviewing major political and cultural figures and has moderated numerous debates, including a notable 2016 Democratic presidential debate. Louis was also a proud NYU Wagner Distinguished Visiting Urbanist in 2021. 

Juanita Scarlett, Partner at Bolton St. Johns, leverages her extensive background in government, communications, and the private sector to guide clients in healthcare, energy, economic development, and education towards achieving their public policy goals and community equity. She is also a proud NYC 2025 Advisory Board Member.   

Richard Buery Jr. leads Robin Hood as its CEO, directing the organization's efforts in combating food insecurity, investing $5.5 million in new community schools, implementing computer education programs, and focusing on enhancing post-pandemic educational instruction for students. He is quite involved with NYU Wagner as a NYU Wagner Public Service Fellow and the 2019 NYU Wagner Distinguished Visiting Urbanist. 

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